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Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom (1953)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 802 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

A crash course on the history of Western musical instruments.

Directors:

, (as C. August Nichols)

Writer:

(story)
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Title: Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom (1953)

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
The Mellomen ...
Singing Group (voice) (uncredited)
Loulie Jean Norman ...
Penelope Pinfeather (voice) (uncredited)
Charlie Parlato ...
Chorus Singer (voice) (uncredited)
Bill Thompson ...
Professor Owl / Bertie Birdbrain (voice) (uncredited)
Gloria Wood ...
Susy Sparrow (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

In this short subject (which mostly represents a departure from Disney's traditional approach to animation), a stuffy owl teacher lectures his feathered flock on the origins of Western musical instruments. Starting with cavepeople, whose crude implements could only "toot, whistle, plunk and boom," the owl explains how these beginnings led to the development of the four basic types of Western musical instruments: brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adventures in Music: Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shown as an accompanying short subject along with the 1963 re-release of Fantasia (1940). See more »

Quotes

Owl: Today we're going to study about...
Boy bird: [looking at a comic book] Ancient history?
Susy Sparrow: Love and mystery?
Penelope Pinfeather: [writing on the blackboard] Mathematics?
Twin brothers: [balancing other students on their heads] Acrobatics?
Students: Readin', spellin'...
Bertie Birdbrain: Storytellin'?
Owl: No, no, no!
[bops Bertie on the head]
Owl: The study of musical instruments is the subject for today.
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

A Toot And A Whistle And A Plunk And A Boom
Written by Sonny Burke & Jack Elliott
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I wanted to hate this film...
18 September 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

As I said above, I really wanted to hate this film...but I couldn't. The reason I wanted to give this film a savage review is that it represents a style of animation that I hate--the very modern and minimalistic animation that came into vogue in the 1950s and lasted through the 70s. Up until films like TOOT WHISTLE PLUNK AND BOOK and films by (uggh) UPA Studios, animation had been very detailed and higher quality. Gorgeous backgrounds and high frame-rates were the norm in the 40s and into the 50s with studios like Looney Tunes, MGM and Disney. But, with the success of very simplistic UPA films like Gerald McBoing-Boing and Mr. Magoo (beating out traditional films for Oscars AND costing a fraction to make), Disney decided to experiment with this splashier but tremendously easy style of animation. So, for the style of this film and what it represented, I wanted to hate the film.

The problem is that although I disliked the art, I couldn't help but like the film--even though it was quite educational. In fact, now that I finished the film, I am still amazed because I usually watch animation to have fun--not learn things! But, I found that I enjoyed the learning.

The film is about the basic parts of music and how all instruments fall within four broad categories--those that go 'toot', those that whistle, those that are plucked ('plunk') and those that are struck ('boom'). This may seem silly, but it really did make sense and made me understand and appreciate music a lot more. In particular, I learned why horns are all curvy and how a trumpet works--and that's really cool.

Overall, a great film to teach anyone (not just kids) about the fundamentals of music AND it does it in a way that isn't boring. Who would have thought this was possible?!


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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